Rookies get Dodgers back on track
Ryu, Puig help Los Angeles to Game 3 victory over St. Louis
Led by a pair of precocious rookies, the Los Angeles Dodgers got themselves right back into the N.L. championship series.
Hyun-Jin Ryu outpitched Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright with seven innings of three-hit ball, and Yasiel Puig tripled home a run to help Los Angeles to a 3-0 win over St. Louis Monday night in Game 3.
Adrian Gonzalez’s RBI double ended a 1-for-17 drought for the Dodgers with runners in scoring position. An ailing Hanley Ramirez added a run-scoring hit as Los Angeles handed Wainwright his first postseason loss and trimmed its deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Game 4 is tonight at Dodger Stadium, with Ricky Nolasco scheduled to start against St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn.
“The playoffs are one-day momentum swings,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Right now I feel like we’ve kind of grabbed it.”
Los Angeles got Ramirez and center fielder Andre Ethier back in the lineup after both proved in batting practice they were healthy enough to play. Ramirez wore a lightweight flak jacket to protect his broken left rib – having been hit by a pitch from Joe Kelly in Game 1 – while Ethier has been bothered by shin splints.
“What can I say? It couldn’t be better,” Ramirez said. “Really happy we got the first win. Just come back tomorrow and even up the series.”
Ramirez singled his first time up off Wainwright and then helped the Dodgers extend their lead to 3-0 in the eighth.
Ramirez hit a soft single off Seth Maness over the head of second baseman Kolten Wong to score Carl Crawford. The speedy Crawford, on second base after a one-out single, rounded third and never stopped running when the throw from the outfield went to second base.
On a close play at the plate, Crawford barely beat the tag by catcher Yadier Molina.
“We just had a lot of balls in the air tonight that hit the ground that normally don’t,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “We’re a better club than this.”
Wainwright entered 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA and four saves in 15 career postseason games, including six starts. He pitched St. Louis past Pittsburgh in the division series, going the distance in a decisive Game 5.
The right-hander tossed seven strong innings this time, allowing two runs and six hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Ryu, however, was even better.
The two were nearly even through the first three scoreless innings, with Wainwright giving up one hit. Ryu, who struggled in his first postseason start in the division series against Atlanta, retired 12 of his first 13 batters, yielding only a walk.
Ryu didn’t permit a Cardinals runner past second base. David Freese’s single to right leading off the fifth was their first hit of the game.
Freese was replaced by a pinch-runner after experiencing tightness in his right calf. He is day to day.
Ryu struck out four batters and walked only one.
Clearing the bases
Athletics rookie right-hander Sonny Gray, injured in a Game 5 loss to Detroit, will have surgery on his left thumb to repair a torn ligament. In addition, right fielder Josh Reddick is likely to have arthroscopic surgery on a sprained right wrist. … MLB and the players’ association have determined that qualifying offers for eligible free agents will be $14.1 million, a raise of $800,000 from last year. Baseball’s labor contract sets the price at the average of the 125 highest contracts by average annual value. A club has until 5 p.m. Eastern time on the fifth day following the World Series to make a qualifying offer and a player has until 5 p.m. EST on the seventh day after the World Series to accept it.
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